I am casually looking online at houses for sale in Montreal. There are a zillion ads. I think how great that is - I don't bother being selective but click on the first one. It's a video showing a "fashionable" neighbourhood near Avenue Renee Levesque. The houses are nice brick houses with all the wrought iron balconies and peaks and cornices everyone likes about this city. Things are looking good. But oh, here goes... the camera swings to the ad's objective: a row of shoddily converted condos, six to a pair of former triplexes. An interviewer talks with a resident, who looks poor and appears to be lying. On the street are kids playing, but the equipment (such as a swing) is squeaky and rusty. Then there is an interview with a girl of around 15, with long, dark hair and fake glasses that have hilarious eyebrows glued to their tops. She shows a project of hers to the interviewer, who is skeptical.
"You really think airports will just let you show up and make naked portraits of politicians?"
"Well I've already done these." The girl shows us a list of names, including The Vatican. We see some of her sketches: one is like Three Indian Chiefs by Julia Codesido, which I saw yesterday at the Musee des Beaux Arts. Others are bold sketches of basic lines of people the girl has drawn as they appear in the airport security X-ray machine, where she has managed to sit and sketch surreptitiously.
Watching this, I begin to laugh.
The girl counters the interviewer's assertion that nothing much appears to be exposed.
"Yes, but if you find even one thing..." says the girl. In one of her drawings there appears to be a concealed club or something - a baton? ...a stick with a ball at the end of it? - inside a subject's body.
I find the girl outrageously wonderful, subversive and hilarious. Those eyebrows. Those glasses. The eyebrows are curling up in tendrils, glued on the frames, white and glittery as if made with cotton wool and sparkly yarn. The interviewer is so serious and does not notice the girl's subversive tone at all. In the background the shoddy condos continue displaying their pathetic facade. I cannot help but burst out laughing with glee and relief that this girl has the audacity to satirize all the people behind this dishonest society. I love her. She has me in the palm of her hand. Maybe there is hope.